The Swastika: The Earliest Known Symbol & its Migrations
Dispersion of the Swastika
Naukratis. --- Figs. 130, 131, 132, 133, 134 and 135, made after illustrations in Mr. W. Flinders Peterie's Third Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund (Pt. 1), found by him in Naukratis, all show unmistakable Swastikas. It should be explained that these are said to be Greek vases which have been imported into Egypt. So that, while found in Egypt and so classed geographically, they are not Egyptian, but Greek.
Coptos (AchmimPanopolis). --- within the past few years great discoveries have been made in Upper Egypt, in Sakkarah, Fayum, and Achmim, the last of which was the ancient city of Panopolis. The inhabitants of Coptos and the surrounding or neighboring cities were Christian Greeks, who migrated from their country during the first centuries of our era and settled in this land of Egypt. Strabo mentions these people and their ability as weavers and embroiderers. Discoveries have been made of their cemeteries, winding sheets, and grave clothes. These clothes have been subjected to analytic investigation , and it is the conclusion of M. Gerspach, the administrator of the national manufactory of the Gobelin tapestry, Paris, (1) that they were woven in the same way as the Gobelins, and that, except being smaller, they did not differ essentially from them. He adds:
These Egyptian tapestries and those of the Gobelins, are the result of work which is identical except in some secondary details, so that I have been able, without difficulty, to reproduce these Coptic tapestries in the Gobelin manufactory.
On one of these Coptic cloths, made of linen, reproduced in "Die Gräber und Textilfunde von Aehmim Panopolis," by R. Forrer, occurs a normal Swastika embroidered or woven, tapestry fashion, with woolen thread (fig. 136). It belongs to the first epoch, which includes portions of the first and second centuries A. D. There were on these cloths an enormous amount of decoration, representing many figures, both natural and geometric. Among them was the Swastika variously applied and in different sizes, sometimes inserted in borders, and
1. "Les Tapisseries Coptes," see. 4, pp. 5, 6. [Back]